by Max Brantley
Republican Rep. Bryan King's bill to punish Eureka Springs by revoking its domestic partnership registry failed in committee this morning on a voice vote. A motion for a roll call came after the chair, Rep. Tommy Baker, had adjourned the meeting.
The mayor of Eureka Springs, Dani Joy, said the registry -- not a legal creation but a gesture of goodwill to unmarried couples who pay a fee to signal their commitment to one another -- had not harmed tourism. She also said Eureka Springs had no sex crimes problem, though parts of the county did.
The Family Council was on hand to stoke the homophobic fires, waving the state's same-sex marriage ban as a cudgel. (As if it has anything to do with city public relations.) But the STFU Award goes to Rep. Beverly Pyle. You know the crackpot Republican for her efforts to put guns in churches and to crack down on massages that treat sexually sensitive portions of the anatomy.
She said: "When you go through the parks in Eureka Springs there are people acting like animals lying around. I hate to see where your city is going. It's deteriorating the family atmosphere." It's a happy ending when her like is defeated.